JEFF DEUTCHMAN – curator/editor/producer, contributing filmmaker/NYC
Jeff Deutchman is a documentary filmmaker and distribution executive who has worked in acquisitions and marketing roles for IFC Films, Paramount, and Alchemy. He is the director and producer of 11/4/08, a documentary that crowd-sourced footage shot all over the world on the day Obama was elected President. The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2010. Throughout his career as an executive, he has championed films that would become acclaimed indie hits, such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color, and Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams. He has also been a champion for new directors before they break through, including Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, David Robert Mitchell, Andrew Haigh, Ben Wheatley, Antonio Campos, Lynn Shelton, Josh and Ben Safdie, and Mike Birbiglia.
NATALIE DIFFORD – producer
Natalie Difford is the Program Associate for Chicken & Egg Pictures, a hybrid non-profit film fund that additionally provides mentorship for women non-fiction filmmakers. Her previous film experience ranges from production, including for This is That and Sony Pictures, to exhibition in the filmmaker departments of The Tribeca Film Festival, London Film Festival and IFP market. Natalie also screens for several organizations. She graduated from The University of Sussex with a BA in English and Media Studies.
ISABEL TEITLER - associate producer
Isabel Teitler graduated from Columbia University in May 2009 with a BA in History. She has worked within film since high school: first as a production assistant on the HBO miniseries Empire Falls and on the Sony Pictures feature film Zathura, in college as an intern in the marketing department of IFC Films, and since graduation as an assistant in the management department of Cinetic Media. She was also a frequent and enthusiastic volunteer for the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania.
JOHN MAHONEY - web designer
John Mahoney is a writer/editor/designer based in NYC. He is currently the Web Editor for Popular Science magazine, and his written work has appeared in that magazine and in Wired, Vanity Fair, Spin, Gizmodo.com (where he was an associate editor prior to Popular Science) and others. Aside from life in the media, he is a nerd and designs and builds websites for fun (previously, Cosmodromemag.com). He (sort of) learned how to do (some of) these things while studying Journalism at Northwestern University, from which he was graduated in 2005. He spent election day carrying a still camera.
HENRY JOOST - contributing filmmaker/Manhattan
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Henry Joost spent his childhood traveling the world with his father, who is an international banker, and his mother, who is a photographer. Henry always had a camera around his neck, even when the camera was bigger than his head. In 1999 he moved to New York City for the second time, where he is working again with cameras much bigger than his head.
Henry is an Emmy award-winning director and co-founder of NYC production company Supermarché, which has helmed dozens of commercials and documentaries for some of the world's most influential companies and institutions. He is currently in post-production for a 35mm adaptation of the Jerome Robbins ballet NY Export: Opus Jazz, which will air on PBS in early 2010. His first feature documentary, Catfish, co-directed with dear friend and business partner Ariel Schulman, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Rogue in the US.
LAUREN GOLDENBERG - contributing filmmaker/Chicago
At the time of the 2008 election, Lauren Goldenberg had been living in Chicago for just over four years. Originally from New York City, she graduated from the University of Chicago in June 2008 and stayed in the Windy City through the following December to intern at Kartemquin Films and to experience the heart of the election madness and joy. Lauren moved to Paris in February 2009, where she currently lives and is happily employed at the English bookshop located just across from Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company. In addition to this and various extra odd jobs that pop up from time to time, she is pursuing her own vague photographic and writerly aspirations, and hopes to one day find herself again involved in documentary film.
BECKY HURWITZ - contributing filmmaker/St. Louis
As a life long optimist, Becky Hurwitz is trying to keep it all in perspective. She recently moved to Brooklyn from Providence, RI for both school and love. Becky is currently working towards her Masters degree at Hunter College in their Elementary Education program. She plans on teaching elementary school and incorporating her training as a yoga instructor. She thinks children are hilarious and hopes to help them discover both new ways to understand their daily existence in the world as well as the tools that they will need to thrive in it.
JOE SWANBERG - contributing filmmaker/Michigan City & Portage, Indiana
Joe Swanberg was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1981. He moved around quite a bit growing up, even spending two years on an island in the Pacific Ocean named Kwajalein. He studied film production at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he developed an interest in emerging video technology and the creative possibilities of the Internet. He became an avid web designer in school, and did this to make money while he financed his first film, Kissing on the Mouth. Since, he has had a prolific career directing the web series Young American Bodies for Nerve.com, as well as feature films such as Hannah Takes the Stairs, Nights & Weekends and Alexander the Last, all three of which debuted at the South By Southwest Film Festival and went on to be distributed by IFC Films in the US.
KRIS SWANBERG - contributing filmmaker/Michigan City & Portage, Indiana
Kris Swanberg is a filmmaker and high school teacher living in Chicago, Illinois. She has acted in several films by husband Joe Swanberg, including Kissing on the Mouth and Young American Bodies. Her personal projects include the short documentary Bathwater, the Nerve.com series Boys and Girls, and most recently It Was Great, but I Was Ready to Come Home, a feature narrative which premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival in 2009. Kris earned a bachelor's degree in Film Production from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master's in Education at DePaul University.
BENH ZEITLIN - contributing filmmaker/New Orleans
Raised by two folklorists in Queens NY, Benh Zeitlin is a director, animator, and composer for the Court 13 coterie. Director of award winning shorts Egg, Origins of Electricity, I Get Wet and Glory at Sea, Filmmaker Magazine named him on of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2008. He currently lives in New Orleans with a giant swine who is starring in his upcoming feature Beasts of the Southern Wild, a Sundance Director's Lab selection and NHK screenwriting award winner.
MARCUS COHLAN - contributing filmmaker/Los Angeles
Marcus Cohlan graduated from Northwestern University and since then has hit the ground running in his acting and filmmaking career. He gained notoriety with his documentary short, Rushed, which profiled the cut throat recruitment system on NU's Evanston campus. Another short film he co-directed and produced, Fast As You Can, aired on PBS in Feburary 2008 after winning a national contest. His work has screened at numerous film festivals. Marcus is also an actor and has performed in various regional theater productions and directed and produced his own sketch comedy.
CLARA KIM - contributing filmmaker/Brooklyn
Clara Kim is the Director of Development at Overnight Productions, a NY-based feature film production company. During her tenure at Overnight, she has worked on films such as 13, a thriller starring Sam Riley, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and Michael Shannon and Machete, directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro and Michelle Rodriguez.
STEVE BACKER - contributing filmmaker/Dubai
Hailing from Manhattan, Steve Backer studied architecture at Brown University. He has worked on sustainable design and development projects in Providence, New York, Costa Rica, South Korea, and Dubai. His recent projects include drafting green-design guidelines for the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, recording songs, and shooting a short superhero film for the 48 hr. Film Project. Steve currently resides in San Francisco.
MARCO NAGGAR - contributing filmmaker/Geneva
Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, Marco Naggar studied theatre and film at Northwestern University. After working in international distribution for Rigel Entertainment in Los Angeles and subsequently in production for Tarantula Suisse in Geneva, Marco is now back in LA, acting and writing for theatre and film.
VIKTOR JAKOVLESKI - contributing filmmaker/Berlin
Viktor Jakovleski was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, and is the offspring of Macedonian emigrants. Since he graduated school in 2002 he has been working in the film industry, assisting various producers on big international film productions at the venerable Babelsberg (UFA) Film Studios, including Gilbert Adler on Valkyrie and Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer on Pandorum. He was also part of the producing program at the prestigious German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 2005 to 2008. Along the way he has produced and co-produced several short films including Nachtgebet and <Glory at Sea. In 2009, he formed a film production company with his sister. Together they are developing several feature films, of which two are currently in advanced development.
THOMAS HUMPHREYS - contributing filmmaker/Austin
Thomas Allen Humphreys is the director of the Blackmagic Rollercoaster filmmaking collective in Austin, TX. The outfit has produced several shorts and music videos, as well as content for the Original Alamo Drafthouse, the University of Texas, and several film and music festivals.
JON LEFKOVITZ – contributing filmmaker/Los Angeles
A lifelong cinephile, Jon Lefkovitz wrote and directed his feature film debut Movie Boy while still an undergraduate at Northwestern University. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation, and since 2007 he has worked at The Ant Farm as an editor on the marketing campaigns for such films as Iron Man, Across the Universe and the Transformers franchise. Jon plans to continue pursuing his passion for film editing, writing, directing, and criticism.
ALEX SHERMAN – contributing filmmaker/Chicago
Alex Sherman is a Los Angeles-based writer, producer, and political strategist.
LAURENCE LASCARY - contributing filmmaker/Paris
Laurence Lascary is a producer based in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris. In 2008, she founded DACP (De l'Autre côté du périph), a production company which strives to promote young talent from the inner city.
She is currently in post-production on two short-films, Maussap by Victor Sicard (adapted from Maupassant's The Horla) and Swords by Cédric Ido, a futuristic Samouraï film starring Jacky Ido (Inglourious Basterds). She previously produced the documentary Ambassador's School about a group of fifteen high school students from working class families who were selected to travel to the United States as “young ambassadors” of France.
Laurence received a masters degree from the University of La Sorbonne in marketing and distribution for the European audiovisual industry. She previously held positions at StudioCanal and Unifrance (New York office). In 2008, she received the Grand Talent Prize – Inner City 2008 from Carla Bruni-Sarkozy at the French Senate.
NELL TIMRECK - contributing filmmaker/New Delhi
Nell Timreck graduated from Oberlin College with degrees in politics and dance. She currently divides her time between developing international sexuality education, attending births as a doula and teaching modern dance classes. Nell shot the footage in this film while working as a consultant for a youth development NGO in New Delhi, India.
MARGARET BROWN – contributing filmmaker/Manhattan
Margaret Brown received the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards for her second documentary feature, The Order Of Myths, which was also nominated in the Best Documentary Category. The film premiered in competition at Sundance in 2008, and was released theatrically by The Cinema Guild the same year. Brown also received the Cinematic Vision Award for The Order Of Myths at the 2008 Silverdocs Film Festival, and the 2008 Grierson Youth Jury Award in England. The film was on many critics' top ten lists of 2008, was a Critics Pick in the New York Times, is rated 100% critically on Rotten Tomatoes, and is listed at #80 on “Top Movies of All Time” on Rotten Tomatoes.
Brown's first feature was the acclaimed documentary Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, which was released in the United States by Palm Pictures and received worldwide theatrical distribution in 2005. Be Here To Love Me premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was the opening night film at North America’s premiere documentary film festival, Full Frame, and the closing night film at the Nashville Film Festival.
Brown directed the music video Our Life Is Not A Movie or Maybe for Okkervil River and she produced Catpower’s Living Proof video, directed by Harmony Korine. She also produced Six Miles of Eight Feet, which won a Student Academy Award in 2000. Brown was the cinematographer for Ice Fishing, which received a special jury prize from Sundance in 2000; she received the Néstor Almendros Award for Cinematography from the NYU Graduate Film Program. The short film she directed while at NYU, 99 Threadwaxing, starred Justin Kirk and Heather Burns and was screened at film festivals across the country. She produced the narrative feature film Mi Amigo, released in 2006 by ThinkFilm and starring Josh Holloway of Lost.
In 2009, Brown was also a Cultural Ambassador for Documentary Filmmaking from the United States to Colombia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Brown earned her BA from Brown University in Creative Writing/Modern Culture & Media and her MFA in Film from New York University.
Currently she is writing her first dramatic feature film The Vultures.
WILL SCHMENNER - contributing filmmaker/Chicago
Will Schmenner is the former film curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, where he curated the exhibit, Casting a Shadow: Creating the Alfred Hitchcock Film, and edited the book of the same name. He is now a student in University of Pennsylvania's History of Art Department.
Check out our THANK YOU page to see everyone who has collaborated on this project in one way or another.
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